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Archive for February, 2011

Great union budget 2010-11, but very little (or nothing) for semicon!

February 28, 2011 Comments off

The Union Finance minister has tabled the Union Budget 2011-12 this morning in the Indian Parliament. Some of the key features include:

* Hike in exemption IT limit from Rs 1.6 lakh to Rs 1.8 lakh.
* Air travel expensive — service tax increased.
* TV, mobile phones cheaper.
* Battery-operated hybrid vehicles cheaper.
* Plan to provide rural broadband connectivity to all 250,000 panchayats in the country in three years.
* Connectivity to all 1,500 institutions of higher learning and research through optical fiber backbone to be provided by March, 2012.
* Special grant provided to various universities and academic institutions to recognise excellence.
* From 1st October, 2011 10 lakh Aadhaar numbers will be generated per day under the UID program.

IT infrastructure
* Various IT initiatives taken for efficient tax administration. These include  e-filing and e-payment of taxes, adoption of ‘Sevottam’ concept by CBEC and CBDT, web based facility for tax payers to track the resolution of refunds and credit for pre-paid taxes and augmentation of processing capacity.
*„ Under Mission mode projects, funds released to 31 projects received from States/UTs for computerisation of Commercial taxes. This will allow States to align with roll out of GST.
*„ Bill to amend the Indian Stamp Act proposed to be introduced shortly.
*„ A new scheme with an outlay of Rs. 300 crore to be launched to provide assistance to States to modernise their stamp and registration administration and roll out e-stamping in all the districts in the next three years.
*„ A new simplified form ‘Sugam’ to be introduced to reduce the compliance burden of small tax payers falling within presumptive taxation.
*„ Three more benches of Settlement Commission to be set up to fast track the disposal of cases.
* Steps initiated to reduce litigation and focus attention on high revenue cases

Environment
* Full exemption from basic Customs Duty  and a concessional rate of Central Excise Duty extended to batteries imported by manufacturers of electrical vehicles.
„* Concessional excise duty of 10 percent to vehicles based on fuel cell technology.
*„ Exemption granted  from basic custom duty and special CVD to critical parts/assemblies needed for hybrid vehicles.
*„ Reduction in excise Duty on kits used for conversion of fossil fuel vehicles into Hybrid vehicles.
*„ Excise duty on LEDs reduced to 5 percent and special CVD being fully exempted.
*„ Basic customs duty on solar lantern reduced from 10 percent to 5 percent.

Besides mobile phone and TV, several other components have been made cheaper. These include laser printers, solar lanterns, hybrid vehicles, LED lights, etc. Air travel, hotels and getting treated in big hospitals have become expensive owing to service tax.

There is also a proposal to launch a National Mission for hybrid and electric vehicles. That should be interesting!

As of now, there is nothing on the Indian semiconductor industry.

It’s Q1 seasonal slowdown, and yearly time for denial!

February 27, 2011 Comments off

This is a summary by Malcolm Penn, CEO, Future Horizons. For those who wish to know more, please get in touch with me or Future Horizons.

Malcolm Penn, CEO, Future Horizons.

Malcolm Penn, CEO, Future Horizons.

December’s WSTS results were as boring as they were predictable, with no serious data revisions (thankfully) and the results right where we expected. December’s year-on-year IC unit growth was 8.9 percent that, with the 3.5 percent growth (yes GROWTH) in ASPs, yielded a respectable double-digit value growthof 12.8 percent. And this, on the back of a weak Q4 memory market that saw ASPs fall 13.1 percent vs Q3-10!

The yearly growth vs 2009 weighed in at 31.8 percent, hitting $298.3 billion, just shy of the elusive $300 billion threshold. The market is right where we said it would be at our recent 2011 Forecast seminar; we reiterate our position that 2011 will be a good year for the industry. Choppy first-half waters for sure, but watch out for a whopping 2H-11 ricochet.

Connectors are up as well
It is not just semiconductors that are off to a good start. The connector industry is tight as a drum too. Orders in December 2010 were up 13.3 percent versus December 2009, with full year orders up 29.3 percent on 2009, down sequentially 11.1 percent from November 2010. The comparable data for sales was plus 18.7percent, plus 28.4 and minus 13.7 percent.

The December connector book-to-bill ratio was 1.01, unchanged from November. This industry still publishes orders and book-to-bill data by the way, unlike the chip industry which very foolishly stopped publishing this several years ago. All this in the seasonally slow first quarter of the month, yet few people believe there is a supply problem in prospect. Just as this time last year, industry denial is rampant, way beyond reasonable caution and ignoring the underlying trends.

Strong demand for mobile, server and graphics DRAM
We estimate that the worldwide growth rate for PCs in 2011 will be a healthy 10 percent, with 3.9GB the average DRAM content per box. New capacity and die shrinks are putting near-term pressure on over-supply and pricing but there are now move afoot from Elpida and others to start raising prices.

Where they can, to gain a price advantage, DRAM vendors are actively adjusting their supply in favour of mobile from commodity DRAM, given the current strong demand in the smartphone and tablet PC markets, with a 1GB per box average DRAM content.

Server demand continues to be the other star segment, not just in unit demand but in content per box as well, estimated to average around 30GB in 2011. This will drive a 50 to 60 percent increase in server DRAM demand. Finally in graphics demand for specialty DRAM is also very strong, driven by the rapid take off of3D-TV and continuing strong growth in Blue-Ray DVD.

The overall DRAM industry is thus gradually diversifying from manufacturing mainly commodity DRAM to diversified products such as mobile DRAM, serverbasis DRAM, specialty DRAM and graphic memory.DRAM vendors however are faring mixed fortunes, with Elpida and Hynix having the worst net cash positions with barely enough cash to cover their short-term debt.

The Taiwanese vendors find themselves stuck in a technology trap, unable to invest in the immersion technology needed to break through the 5*nm node, meaning that in the absence of a good market uptick to improve cash flow and profits, a shake out in the DRAM supply base seems unavoidable.
Read more…

Disruptive technologies an innovation for masses!

February 22, 2011 Comments off

The last session of the ISA Vision Summit 2011 focused on disruptive technologies. There were three presenters:
* Ashok B. Ramaswamy, global director for software development, Delphi.
* S. Nandakumar, co-founder and CEO, Perfint Healthcare.
* Phanindra Sama, co-founder and CEO, redBus.

More later! ;)

 

Categories: Semiconductors

Entrepreneur’s journey: Two sides of the same coin!

February 22, 2011 Comments off

Chetan Mani, chief of Technology and strategy officer, and deputy chairman, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd and Steve Sanghi, CEO and chairman of the board, Microchip Technology Inc.

More later! ;)

Categories: Semiconductors

Xilinx fueling next wave of innovation and growth!

February 22, 2011 Comments off

Moshe Gavrielov, president and CEO, Xilinx Inc., presented the keynote on day 2 of the ongoing ISA Vision Summit 2011 here in Bangalore.

More later! ;)

Categories: Semiconductors

Belgian contingent graces ISA Vision Summit 2011

February 22, 2011 1 comment

The Belgium contingent was at full strength at the ISA Vision Summit 2011, with five key representatives. These included:
* AnSem
* imec
* NXP
* Target Compiler Technology
* Televic Group.

The twin objective of this delegation is to stimulate innovation by enabling and supporting co-operation with Indian partners. Another objective is to promote the DSP Valley network and the region of Flanders/Belgium as having a unique experience in the domains of wireless communications, DSP and embedded system design.

More later! ;)

Categories: Semiconductors

ISA Technovation awards 2011: Anand, the top draw! Top honors for Su-Kam, Tejas

February 21, 2011 Comments off

The ISA Technovation Awards 2011 were given away this evening by World Chess Champion, Vishwanathan Anand. The sudden downpour had earlier made everyone run helter-skelter! ;)

More later!

Categories: Semiconductors
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